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Hi. I'm Ryan.

I am a journalist, designer and developer based in Chicago, and I've spent my career in the information communications business. Through visualization, writing, editing and ux design, I find the important messages and express them in the best ways possible.

Throughout the years, I've made it all: small static charts, large featured interactives, standalone presentations and dashboard user interfaces. Each format has its place, and choosing the right one for the job is a delicate, practical art.

Whether the solution is a few carefully chosen words or something more, the goal always is to distill mountains of information into meaningful and empowering experiences. This makes repeat customers out of media consumers.

It's important to know when to collaborate, delegate and run solo. Success requires juggling the needs of multiple audiences on multiple platforms, and being a quick study doesn't hurt either. (All while on deadline, of course.)

How I work

For starters, I work well with others. As a group, we need to discover our true goals, define them clearly, and consider our resources. A well-scoped project is important to success and, when it comes to data management, app architecture and inclusive design, I always try to do things the "right way" within that scope.

I speak fluent front-end: HTML, CSS and Javascript. I know my way around Node and can get things done with Python and Go. I'm a big fan of the Svelte.js framework. I also know others (including Wordpress). I like Github Actions and using Google Spreadsheets as an ad-hoc CMS.

I appreciate good, useful documentation. From others, for the tools I'm using. Also to me from my previous self. Future me needs a lot of help.


  • Storytelling developer Gannett 2018 to present

    My team — The Storytelling Studio — collaborates with newsrooms across the company to facilitate top-notch storytelling by developing tools, frameworks and custom experiences to empower our partners in more than 200 newsrooms across the country. We use an agile, human-centered approach as we iteratively test our hypotheses and refine our goals. Journalists often approach us with their centerpiece work and a desire to maximize its impact. We build our tools from end to end to achieve a facility on our company's infrastructure and a alignment of technologies that wouldn't otherwise exist.

  • Assistant DataViz Editor Chicago Tribune 2013 to 2018

    I helped coordinate the efforts of all graphic reporters and artists across long- and short-term projects while leading our transformation into a digital-focused team. I helped develop technology stacks, templates and best practices for everything from static graphics to fully composed articles and interactives. Though the graphics team was full of expert artists and journalists, our digital abilities were minimal. For our transformation to succeed, the plan needed to include everyone and, thus, a key responsibility for me was to serve as a coach/mentor to help us all contribute to our digital growth.

  • Graphics Coordinator, Business Chicago Tribune 2010 to 2013

    I worked with business editors, reporters and columnists to identify and prioritize graphic opportunities for the daily business section and special projects. I participated in long- and short-term planning to devise digital experiences to enhance the daily and weekly coverage.

  • Graphics Editor The Times of Northwest Indiana 2009 to 2010

    I identified and executed visual storytelling opportunities for the news, sports, business and features sections in print and online. I also worked to expand the scope and community with online-only content.

  • Designer The Times of Northwest Indiana 2005 to 2009

    My primary responsibility was combining photos, typography and copy into sharp, tightly edited presentations representing sound news judgment. I worked with editors, photographers and reporters to facilitate not only a compelling presentation but also a smooth production process. I designed newspaper pages and graphics for all sections and contributed digital presentation and graphics (especially around election time).

  • Copy editor, Presentation Editor The News-Enterprise 2002 to 2005

    I designed newspaper pages and graphics for all sections, edited copy and helped coordinate entertainment coverage and special projects. I also helped guide the overall look and feel of the paper while coaching teammates on visual matters.

Selected work

These are projects to which I made significant contributions. I've included links to code repositories where possible. Some of these links are older and, given the nature of the web and media businesses, are no longer available or fully functional in the current environment. I've included them anyways because I remain proud of that work, but they are labeled impaired.

About the labels
Whether it's a dashboard or something else, these are good examples of user interfaces I have built. These applications tend to have more interactivity.
Data visualization
The primary purpose of these projects is to tell a story by conveying data through a visual format.
A nicely-designed article or other featured content that might not have a ton of interactivity but is full of information and organization.
These are not one-off projects. The codebase consitutes a tool or framework and has been reused several times.
Made with Svelte, a popular framework that I rather enjoy using.
Older projects with published links that might not work well (or at all) anymore because of CMS migrations or other factors. I'm not in control of them anymore, but I remain proud of the work. Why not take a look at the code?

Are you ready to get started? Let's talk: